28 February 2015

Decision of Energy Department to end participation of China in National Grid Corporation has legal basis, says Palace
The Palace said it is up to the Department of Energy to decide on the tie up between the Chinese State Grid Corporation (SGC) and the National Grid Corp. noting the energy department has enough basis to end the cooperation with the Chinese entity.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson asked the Philippines to treat the SGC fairly after the energy department announced the termination of cooperation between the SGC and the National Grid Corp.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla they plan to end the involvement Chinese State Grid Corporation in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines due to national security concerns.

“We’re quite certain that the Department of Energy has arrived at this particular conclusion after a thorough study of the advantages and disadvantages of it,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“We’ll leave it to Secretary Petilla to give more details on that, but we’re quite certain that decision is a product of a thorough study by the Department of Energy,” she told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Asked to comment on on China’s statement that the Philippines made the decision because of the disagreements in the West Philippine Sea, Valte said the Philippines and China have multifaceted relations despite the territorial dispute.

Valte said that no matter what challenges the two countries are facing in one facet of the relationship, they always endeavor to develop the other facets of that relationship and try not to let it spillover into the other levels of cooperation.

The DOE said Wednesday it would end Chinese technical involvement in running the country’s power grid, partly due to national-security concerns.

Secretary Jericho Petilla 16 said all the Chinese technicians currently working for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines will be sent home by July.

The SGC has a 40 percent stake in the Philippine firm, which operates and maintains the nation’s power grid.

The Philippine government filed an arbitration case in the international tribunal, asking it to clarify conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea. PND (as)

Malacanang asks public, local government units to help in preventing fires
The Palace appealed to the public and local government units to be vigilant in preventing fires that could happen frequently as the summer sets in.

The country is observing Fire Prevention Month this March.

During a radio interview Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she heard reports of fire early Saturday as the country starts the observance of Fire Prevention Month.

“We appeal to our families to make sure to do your yearly check up of your houses—the ones that you rent or your own homes,” Valte said in the interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The people could ask the help of Bureau of Fire Protection which conducts inspections in cooperation with the local government units.

“And we also call on the local government units to start conducting their inspections to make sure that the homes in their jurisdiction and the offices and the buildings are also up to speed on our relevant codes.”

A fire was reported in Pasig City Saturday morning. Last week, a fire razed a residential area in Pasay City, leaving 400 families homeless. PND (as)

Families who joined DSWD’s camp out now comfortable in new homes, says Palace
The government reported that it was able to relocate 74 poor families who participated in the recent camp out conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

In a radio interview Saturday, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the 74 families are now living in safe houses through DSWD’s financial assistance and alternative family home assistance.

“Ang mga bata sa mga pamilya pong ito ay naka-enroll na ngayon sa ilalim ng alternative learning system ng Department of Education,” she told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

Three families were also chosen to return to their respective provinces under DSWD’s Balik-Probinsya program, she said.

“Sampu naman sa mga pamilyang ito ay sumailalim doon sa cash-for-work program for a period of 10 days, at ngayon naman kasama na nila ang kanilang mga kamag-anak,” Valte said.

Also four families that are under the DSWD’s regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program have returned to their own homes.

Five families who joined the camp out in Batangas were endorse for the national household targeting system for poverty reduction and they are temporarily staying in Jose Fabella Center in Mandaluyong City while their cases are being assessed.

“So ito ang naging bunga noong naging camping activity ng DSWD. Dahil doon sa mga datos at report naipakita nila, na hindi lang ito dahil sa sinasabing ‘instant beautification’ at talagang nagkakaroon ng magandang impact ito sa mga pamilyang sumama,” Valte noted.

The DSWD has been able to conduct a total of six camp out activities from 2011 to 2014, she added.

The DSWD was criticized for allegedly hiding the poor families living along Roxas Boulevard during the visit of Pope Francis in Manila. PND (as)